Disclaimer: this is my first time on winter tires for any vehicle, and only the second tire I’ve run on my S2000. I don’t really feel experienced enough to call this a “review” of the tire; it’s probably better characterized as a comparison of A/S to snow tires generally. In any case, here are my thoughts so far.
The first 2,000 miles since I bought my AP1 Honda S2000 were on Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval all-season tires. I haven’t done any autocross or track events yet, but I’ve generally been pleased with these as my first set of tires, being that they came new with the car. They are good enough that I would not just toss them in favor of summer performance tires. I’ll probably do one or two seasons of street and occasional-autocross duty on them, unless I get to the point where my driving is pushing far past their limits.
I chose the Generals for winter because of several positive reports on the S2KI forum as an adequate lower-priced winter tire. I followed the advice of several folks there to run a square 205/55-16 setup (OEM 16" wheels) rather than the usual staggered 225/50 in the rear, because of tire availability, as well as narrower tires generally performing better in the snow.
Before the snow hit, I put 100 or so miles on the winter tires over the course of several days. Compared to the all-seasons, performance was predictably and noticeably degraded. Throttle steering, steering responsiveness, and steering accuracy all suffer. The car has a tendency to wander under hard braking. I didn’t approach the limits of grip in any corners, because I’m trying not to abuse them and rather use these tires for what they’re made for (i.e. snow), but I did smell the rubber after some medium-hard cornering. Path through the corners is not quite as predictable as the Firehawks either.
One detectable advantage of the snows is ride quality: the softer sidewalls and more supple tread (I’m guessing) absorb a lot more of the road imperfections than the Firehawks.
I felt confident driving sensibly in the snow on the Generals. In one inch of snow, they cut right through at normal side-street speeds. To handle 2+ inches, slower speeds or steering corrections (and more latitude) are required.
In low-speed parking and turning maneuvers, the Generals are able to handle several inches of slop without spinning the wheels, and with minimal lateral sliding.
In summary: consider me a satisfied customer.